Teens are more likely to get into accidents than other drivers – inexperience behind the wheel is a large factor, along with reckless behavior and distractions such as texting or conversing with passengers. Allowing your teen to learn to drive with your car can be scary for parents, given the high risk of accidents. Thankfully, driving schools offer teens the chance to obtain a large amount of hands-on experience behind the wheel and learn defensive driving strategies in a safe environment. Here's why letting your teen attend a driving school before getting on the road is a good idea.
Gives Your Teen Hands-On Experience Behind the Wheel
When your teen first learns to drive, he or she needs to obtain as much hands-on experience behind the wheel as possible. The motions of driving, such as steering, accelerating and breaking, need to be ingrained in muscle memory. Experienced drivers often forget how difficult it can be to coordinate your eyes, hands, and feet in order to drive a car safely. If your teen is still new to controlling a moving vehicle, he or she may focus solely on driving correctly and fail to recognize dangers in traffic such as other drivers committing driving errors. The more hands-on experience behind the wheel your teen receives before driving alone, the safer he or she will be.
Driving schools provide the hands-on experience that your teen needs to commit the actions of driving to muscle memory. Driver's Education courses in high school typically offer very few hours behind the wheel – they're mostly focused on learning the rules of the road. You also may not have the temperament to teach your teen to drive safely by yourself, as it can be anxiety-inducing to have your teen behind the wheel of your car. Driving schools hire professional instructors that ride with your teen and teach him or her about defensive driving techniques in real-life driving situations, allowing your teen to become comfortable with handling a car in traffic before driving alone. Your teen will spend more hours behind the wheel when he or she attends driving school compared to attending a class in high school.
Offers Your Teen Strategies to Avoid Distractions
Other teens in the car, loud music, and cellphone use are all common sources of distractions for teens. Distracted driving is dangerous for anyone, but teens are especially vulnerable. If your teen is not comfortable handling a car, even minor distractions can result in a collision. The hands-on training a driving school provides will equip your teen to deal with minor distractions. Also, the instructor will reinforce that distracted driving is dangerous and offer strategies to avoid distractions while driving to reduce the risk of an accident.
Teaches Your Teen Safe Driving Skills at Night or in Inclement Weather
Your teen may not have much experience driving at night or during heavy rainfall, which increases the risk of accidents. When the road is wet, or visibility is low, it becomes more difficult to judge braking distance or even where the lane markers are. Your teen needs experience driving in these conditions, but it can be difficult to gain experience when driving at night or in the rain the first few times can be very dangerous. A driving school provides a safe environment for your teen to learn how a car's handling changes when the roads are wet and how to judge distances during night driving.
By attending a driving school to learn defensive driving methods and become comfortable with handling a moving car, your teen will be a safer driver. It's a good alternative to courses that may be offered at your teen's high school or teaching your teen by yourself. If you want to reduce your teen's chances of an accident, contact a driving school and schedule your teen for a course.